This past summer, History Department Chair Dave Lyons led a group of students on a trip to Europe, visiting Second World War historic sites. Here they gather around the grave of a fellow St. Marker, Bulkley Livermore Wells, Class of 1942, in the Normandy American Cemetery at Collewille-sur-Mer, France.
On June 6, 1944, the largest armada in the history of the world set off for France. Elements of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions began the assault before dawn, among them 20-year-old Private Bulkley Livermore Wells Jr '42, a medic with the 502nd Parachute Infantry. His regiment's mission was to seize two causeways leading inland from Utah Beach and to destroy a nearby German howitzer battery. Heavy cloud cover and intense enemy anti-aircraft fire made it difficult for troop carrier aircraft to hold formation, and the men of the 502nd found themselves landing as far as five miles away from their designated drop zone. Early on June 6th, 1944, Private Wells was killed in a skirmish with a German patrol sent to hunt down the scattered paratroops.